Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sat. Nov. 14, 09 -- Quieting a bit but damage is done

It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann.

Update: I’m PayPal ready for donations. Just go to PayPal, click “Send Money,” type in my email (jmann99@hotmail.com), enter amount and click “Services” box. It’s a snap and I’m grateful beyond measure.

Saturday, November 14, 2009:

The ocean remained fiercely riled early today. The Island was also under water at all the low spots – the numbers of which seem to be increasing with doomsday regularity. Be it the prospect of this yearlong bout with storms or the growing inventory of low spots, many municipalities (via the NJDOT) are simply leaving those orange warning barrels on-site, just pushed off to the side when things are dry enough. Good idea. My wild and wooly guess is they’ll be needed again before next summer.

As the story of this once-Hurricane Ida’s attack on the East Coast buzzed across the nation, there was a bit of debasing done to the integrity of our beloved nor-easters. Virtually every newscast went on and on about the “odd” way the former hurricane was causing such mayhem despite being mere remnants. The problem was everyone wanted to hang onto the romanticism of a tropical system instead of rightfully shifting gear and recognizing the remains were a mere low pressure system that inserted it self into a recognized formula for the worst East Coast nor’easters. That formula: A low (any low) that intensifies off the Delmarva but can’t move northward because of a blocking high pressure system. The odd part is how everyone, even many TV weather people (often mere actors), thought the weathery wildness was some odd and unusual meteorological incident. Not at all. We’re fully into the nor’easter season – and this last one was a classic form of that storm.

Needless to say, the damage has been done to virtually every LBI beach, though Ship Bottom had a lot of sand still showing as Surf City replenishment sand contuse to drift there. HC and BH got nailed. A few houses undermined by ocean water, though in no danger of collapse despite news reports indicating they were. Obviously, it’s a crap shoot when it comes to mobile fishing the beach. Still, there are always those willing to toss the bones. I know quite a few anglers were out there today.

Talked to a couple boat folks who worked the bay today. They failed but I read of a large boat bass down LEH way. That makes sense. Bass know the best chance of chowing down when the skies go psycho is to hit the leeward side of things, i.e. the bay. Of course, there were also huge bass in the bay before the blow so any inside action being found might be those same been-here bass. I know of one angler (South End) who has gone out and nabbed a keeper or two out of the bay for two weeks straight, all after dark.

News stories:

[Vocus/PRWEB ] - November 12, 2009 - Chicago, The economic downturn can be blamed for a number of lifestyle changes, but causing Americans to cook more is not one of them, according to The 24th Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, recently released by The NPD Group.

Americans are eating at home more, and have been since the beginning of the decade, reports this year's Eating Patterns in America, but last year they turned to their microwaves to serve their food up for them.

“Microwaving has been flat for two decades, but it increased last year as Americans found a way to eat at home and not cook,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, and author of Eating Patterns in America, an annual compilation of NPD's food and beverage market research. “We're using our microwaves to warm and heat more, but not prepare more dishes from scratch.”

According to Balzer and NPD's food industry market research, Americans used their microwave ovens more last year and their stove tops less. Approximately 20 percent of all meals prepared in U.S. homes from 1990 to 2007 involved the use of a microwave, until last year when usage rose ten percent. He said stove tops remain the most popular cooking appliance but the percent of main meals prepared on a stove top dropped from 52 percent in 1985 to 33 percent in 2009.

'There was a lot of speculation last year as to how our eating behaviors changed as a result of the economic crisis. The truth is that consumer behavior changes slowly,” says Balzer. “I've observed America's eating patterns in good and bad economies, and the constant is that there is no recession in eating and Americans don't want to cook what they eat.”


[Newsday, Melville, N.Y.] By Bill Bleyer - November 13, 2009 - With encouraging results 10 days into the bay scallop season, scientists and the fishing community are hopeful that the population may be rebounding after being decimated by brown tides of algae from 1985 to 1995.

Even more promising is that the Peconic Bay system is showing a large increase in juvenile scallops born this year, hinting at a much better season next year.
There's optimism that this year's statewide harvest will equal or top last year's 9,942 pounds, which was a fraction of pre-brown tide levels.

Since 1990, the statewide harvest -- all of it from Long Island waters -- has roller-coastered from a low of 53 pounds in 1996 to 27,146 in 1994. In 1982, the total was 500,000 pounds.

This year, the water quality is excellent and several ongoing East End scallop seeding and spawning sanctuary programs seem to be bearing fruit.

'I think it's comparable to last year,' said Pete Wenczel of Southold, who has been fishing commercially since 1975. He said he and his son Ben went scalloping on the first two days of the season and each got the 10-bushel limit the first day and 11 bushels between them on the second. 'People have been getting four or five bags' since then. 'It's not fantastic but hopefully we'll be able to catch a few bushels a day all season,' which ends March 31.

Charles Manwaring, owner of Southold Fish Market, said 'there were a lot more boats out there this year' -- about 250 -- for the season opening. 'Last year there were one or two good areas and this year there were four good areas.'
Stephen Tettelbach, professor of biology at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, said 'we haven't seen a [brown tide] bloom in 15 years' in the Peconic Bay system. 'The water quality in the bays is really excellent.'

Tettelbach, who is completing a five-year, $2.3-million project for Suffolk County that has placed 5 million bay scallops into the East End waterways, said other shellfish species seem to be rebounding along with the scallops. He said prohibiting sewage discharges from boats has helped improve water quality along with the increased population of shellfish that filter the water.

As for whether nature or the scallop seeding and spawning sanctuary programs are responsible for the increase in population, Tettelbach said, 'I think it's a combination. We've definitely seen an increase in the areas where we have planted scallops, primarily in Orient Harbor but also in Flanders Bay. We're also seeing bugs [juvenile scallops] in areas where we did not plant, suggesting that the scallop larvae are being transported widely throughout the bays.'

Tettelbach said he is seeing the highest number of juvenile scallops he has seen in 20 years.

Said Wenczel: 'So next year could be a big season.'


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Fishermen have known for years that they've had to steam farther and farther from shore to find the cod, haddock and winter flounder that typically fill dinner plates in New England.

A new federal study documenting the warming waters of the North Atlantic confirms that they're right -- and that the typical meal could eventually change to the Atlantic croaker, red hake and summer flounder normally found to the south.

'Fishermen are businessmen, so if they have to go farther and deeper to catch the fish that we like to eat, eventually it won't be economical to do that,' said Janet Nye, a fishery biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the lead author of the study.

'It just won't be in your local seafood store, or maybe it'll be more expensive,' said Nye, who works at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 'So I think there'll be a natural, hopefully slow, switch to different seafoods.'

For the study, which first appeared Oct. 30 in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, Nye and three other NOAA biologists analyzed water temperature trends from North Carolina to the Canadian border off Maine from 1968 to 2007. They then looked at fish survey data collected each spring and assessed where the fish were caught and how abundant they were.

The researchers looked at the familiar New England species. as well as lesser-known fish such as longhorn sculpin and blackbelly rosefish.

Of the 36 stocks studied, the distribution range of 24 of them had changed in unison with the rising water temperatures that have been occurring off the Northeast since the 1970s.

That temperature rise doesn't sound like much -- less than half a degree Fahrenheit, on average -- but it's been enough to cause fish to slowly move to areas with temperatures more to their liking.

The greatest movement was exhibited by the blackbelly rosefish, which moved more than 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the northeast during the years studied. Among commercial species, movements of more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) were observed for southern stocks of yellowtail flounder and red hake, as well as American shad and alewives.

Some fish exhibited little movement to the north, but rather moved to deeper waters where temperatures are lower, according to the report.

Small-boat fishermen on Cape Cod caught most of their haddock and flounder, as well as the peninsula's namesake fish, in waters close to shore 20 years ago, said Tom Dempsey, of the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association. Nowadays, they have to travel as far 100 miles (160 kilometers) offshore to find those same fish, he said.

At the same time, he said, Massachusetts fishermen are catching more fish traditionally found in the Middle Atlantic -- Atlantic croaker, in particular, usually caught off Virginia and North Carolina.

'How much of that is directly impacted by climate change is hard to get a handle on,' Dempsey said. 'There are a number of other factors that have been at play, one being overharvesting in inshore areas and, subsequently, ecological changes as inshore areas have become dominated in a lot of areas by spiny dogfish populations.'

The study is one piece of the puzzle in figuring out the factors that influence ocean species, said Jason Link, a NOAA fisheries biologist and a co-author of the study. While the report says climate change is the driving factor, he said, other influences -- such as fishing pressure and long-term natural cycles in ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions -- play a role.

'We're looking at how much of this movement to colder waters is perhaps related to the environment as opposed to how much is due to fishing,' he said. 'I don't think this paper totally answers that question.'

While the report documents the movement of fish in the Northeast and the Middle Atlantic, there's evidence to suggest that marine organisms in southern U.S. waters are also moving north, said Jay Odell, a marine specialist with The Nature Conservancy in Richmond, Virginia.

Sea turtles that normally nest on beaches in North Carolina and south have been nesting in Virginia and Maryland in recent years, he said, possibly because of rising water temperatures.

'One of the messages of this paper is that tracking why some fish are doing well and some aren't, and why fish are moving, is a very complicated business,' Odell said.

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